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May 11, 2021 - 10:34am

Council member, BHA director applaud city police for quick and decisive action in stopping drug deal

The City of Batavia Police Department came through with flying colors last month while thwarting a suspected drug deal in the parking lot at the 400 Towers senior apartment complex at 400 E. Main St., but that’s what the executive director of the Batavia Housing Authority has come to expect from municipal law enforcement.

“I observed two different suspected deals, and the second one just after 5 p.m. seemed like it was just starting,” said Nathan Varland, who heads the agency that operates 400 Towers along with other locations in the city. “So, I called 9-1-1 and they sent a car over without lights and sirens to see what they could see and they jumped right into it. It was very responsive and helpful to us, and I very much appreciate the help and support of police and fire.”

The Batavian contacted Varland by telephone this morning, following up on a report by City Council Member Al McGinnis at Monday night’s City Council meeting about the way in which police officers handled the matter.

McGinnis, a commissioner on the BHA board of directors, said the housing authority “would like to thank Chief (Shawn) Heubusch and his people for responding quickly and professionally to the drug issues that occurred at 400 Towers.”

“The manager (Varland) was out for a run in the evening and came back to his place and noticed some individuals dealing drugs,” he said. “He immediately called the police chief and they responded with no lights and no sirens. They were able to contain them and stop the deal, and arrest the perpetrators.”

Varland said some of the residents have witnessed suspected drug deals “where people have met in our parking lot and did not live here – they were not residents.”

“It didn’t seem like there was a ton of activity going on but it seemed to be increasing. So, I contacted Chief Heubusch and a couple people on the police department, asking for some advice,” he offered. “They were super responsive, super supportive. I just can’t say enough good things about the help that they provided to us, and just how quickly they responded when we needed help.”

Varland said he is not aware of any suspicious activity at the location since then, and is grateful for city emergency services personnel’s continuing protection.

“We count on them,” he said. “Honestly, we wouldn’t be in business without Batavia police and fire. They’re just so supportive in helping to meet all of our needs here.”

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